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  • Vanessa Paletta

My Yoga Pup - B

On Friday we said goodbye to our sweet pup Brandy. It was a day we knew was coming and yet it still came far too soon. We chose to have a vet come to the house so she could be comfortable and so Lucy (our 3 legged hound dog and B’s companion for the past 6 years) could be present as well. Brandy passed peacefully in our arms under a shower of “I love you’s” and kisses in her favorite snoozing spot on the couch.


B was our pup for 13 years and the heart of our home. We rescued her in 2009 only one year after graduating high school and one year before we got married. She was with us through everything and our entire marriage till now. She was an angsty little rescue Boston Terrier/Beagle mix that needed a lot of love. She was red-flagged at the humane society for biting a vet tech but she was so sweet to Steve that he brought her home to me. Her sweetness mixed with her tough attitude awarded her the nickname “Chimp Chomp.”


She would pull so hard on walks and bolt after squirrels and frogs so fast that she broke countless retractable leashes. In Steve’s parent’s backyard she would run full speed at the 6ft back fence, jump and push off it to peak over the top. A tree with a low split in it’s trunk became her climbing tree. Somehow she would climb right up into the thing and try to catch squirrels. She climbed so high up once (at least 8ft high) that Steve had to coax her into diving down into his arms.


She was the glue in our marriage, the tether that always brought us together. She would run back and forth between us when we’d get in an argument and raise our voices, reminding us to fight fairly and at a normal decibel. She slept in our bed every night and got us in trouble with the HOA for her constant barking all day when we went to work and school, no doubt the squirrels were taunting her through the windows.

When we moved from Denver to Nashville during a blizzard in the dead of winter, B was my trustee copilot the whole way, bundled up in the passenger seat. Only 6 months later my brother died and when I came home from NYC she licked my whole face making sure to get every tear. I swear she thought she could take the pain away and in someways she did. She coaxed me out into the sunshine for walks during some of my darkest days of my life and loved me through it all, she was my lifeline in the deep waters of grief.

She got her first backyard when we bought our house in Nashville and she would stand on the top of our picnic table to see the whole neighborhood. A few times she got her head stuck in the fence (squirrel chasing) and I had to call the fire department to come clip her out of the wire. Wild child.


When we rescued Lucy, a 3 legged hound dog who was in a lot of pain, Brandy licked her whole face too. She taught Lucy how to walk again, how to do the stairs and how to beg for popcorn. B and Lucy walked many many miles together and already Lucy has been unwilling to go on a walk since B’s passing. Just as heartbroken as we are.


The place where her presence is missed the most is in The Yoga Room. Brandy was my yoga pup, a partner in my practice. She laid down on a yoga blanket for every class I took from home for years. When I started teaching out of our house, she’d sleep next us the whole time reminding me of Santosha, the heart of contentment. I started teaching virtually and filming my classes during the pandemic and she was the anchor of the space, her bed behind my mat, always in the video frame. Sometimes she’d get up for savasana and come lay next to me or lick more tears that inevitably fell in that quiet sacred space.



I’m not sure what my practice or teaching will look like without her. I find myself still saying in my mind “let’s go to yoga!“ and seeing her hop off the couch and tip tap her feet down the hall and over my mat where she would flop down in her bed and settle in. The space feels very quiet and far too still without her. We had some clay paw prints made and one will surely stay on my alter in The Yoga Room forever. If you’ve practiced with me you know the void that is present without her sweet spirit in the room.

In the end, B was so gentle and so sweet. She let me carry her from the couch to the backyard with no complaints. We would sit together in the Florida sunshine and I’d hold her little hips so she didn’t have to work so hard. The day before she passed we took an early morning walk together as the sun came up. That morning was especially foggy and she walked longer than usual. Something about that sweet morning is imprinted in my mind. I feel like she was ready to walk slowly into the fog.


She stole our hearts and reminded me that no matter how hard the world is on you, no matter how much you think you have to fight and defend yourself, no matter how many red flags get stacked next to your name, that love can soften you. I hope she’s somewhere sunbathing right now with her tongue hanging out with that big sweet smile.


You did so good little one. We will always love you.


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